Jon And Jero: Stuff!

Accompanied by Reviewer Jr, my six-year-old daughter, we were keen to step into the Kingfisher at Gluttony and see Jon and Jero: Stuff! Why? The day before, Reviewer Jr had had a small interaction with them at the entrance to the complex and was immediately charmed by their antics. She should be charmed because Jon and Jero are absolutely fantastic.

The premise is simple; the show opens with Jero (Jeromaia Detto) playing a Neighbourhood Watchman in a beige trenchcoat, bragging about how good he is and, of course, failing to see the robber behind him stealing all of Jon and Jero’s stuff. The chorus of kids screaming “HE’S BEHIND YOU!” in the first moments of the show was hilarious and let us all know we were
going to have a very fun adventure together.

The play is in a loose choose-your-own-adventure style; as Jon and Jero discover the robbery, they have to head out into the big wide world, and the kids are offered an option every few minutes of where they should investigate. This format keeps the kids super engaged and makes me want to see another performance to see all the various options.

Jon (Jon Walpole) and Jero have exuberant energy and perfect chemistry and are very funny at all turns throughout the show. I was not the only adult in the crowd who was laughing the whole way through. The audience was so involved in every moment, and the kids were completely gripped even though they were yelling and giving advice the whole time. Reviewer Jr. had a smile as wide as Bass Strait throughout the entire hour.

Jon And Jero: Stuff!

The beats of the show – the hunt for a hot air balloon, a booger bog, a great sequence where Jero becomes a robot through the power of aluminium foil (as Jon said, “For $3 you can turn your friend into a robot too!”), their butts getting stolen, the cactus man, and more – have a sort of loose, improvisational vibe, but that’s absolutely fine. Jon and Jero seem able to roll with any punches and keep entertaining. The huge photo-real cutouts of each character that were employed any time the other needed to be off stage were some of the best props I’ve seen at this festival.

For Reviewer Jr., the highlight was going on stage and telling a joke; she looked over to me and gave me the thumbs up as she was about to tell her joke. Her thumbs up is like Ebert’s—a glowing recommendation. I take notes throughout each show to keep track of what I’m seeing, and I see my final note for “Jon and Jero: Stuff!” is “This show rules.” And it really does.

You couldn’t choose a better pair to entertain your little ones and keep you laughing. This is five-star family entertainment of the best variety, and I will definitely be seeing the next iteration when they (hopefully) return next year.

In the meantime, you can see Jon in “Butterfly” until the 10th of March at the WEA, and Jero in “MUSH”, until the 9th of March, at the Bally in Gluttony.

This review also appears on It’s On The House, and check out more reviews at Dark Stories Theatre to see what else is on in your town.

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